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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

Plan for Athletics for January 2022

Dear Parents,

I wanted to make you aware of the below email that was sent to students and faculty this afternoon, which outlines our plans for athletics at St. Andrew’s in the coming weeks. 

I truly appreciate your partnership and support as we navigate this latest COVID-19 surge—and for reading the many emails I have sent you this week! If you have any questions or concerns about our athletics protocols or any other aspect of the January return plan, simply reply to this email to share them with me.

With warmest wishes, 
Joy McGrath



Message on athletics sent to students and faculty:

Dear Students,
 
I know you have read my recent messages about enhanced “Red Status” COVID-19 protocols upon our return (see here and here if you missed them). Many of you have noticed that how we treat athletics is “TBD” in Red Status. I am writing now to tell you how we will handle athletics in the coming weeks. 
 
Sports are a crucial part of your experience and education at St. Andrew’s. Our goal for all our protocols, at any status level, is to keep the community as healthy as possible while keeping your St. Andrew’s education—including your involvement in athletics— “normal” to the greatest extent possible. We are in our most-restrictive Red Status in the coming weeks because we must limit our community’s exposure to COVID-19 as the omicron variant peaks in Delaware and around the country
 
We need to go through a period of testing within our community to make sure we have no significant community spread of COVID among students as you return from your vacations. However, though we are vaccinated according to our policies and testing weekly, we do not necessarily know what other schools are doing in this regard—and we know that COVID rates throughout Delaware are already as high as they have ever been during this pandemic. 
 
With all of the above in mind, here is how we will handle athletics in January: 
 
1. We will continue to have daily athletic practices in Red Status. In practice we are exposed only to each other, and we know that we are properly masked, vaccinated according to our policies, and tested at least weekly. We need to wear masks properly when in practice so that we can be accustomed to masking properly during competitions.
 
2. We will not engage in athletic competition until at least the completion of our initial testing cadence, which concludes with Wednesday testing on January 12. The school’s COVID Monitoring and Response Team, which meets every morning when school is in session, will review the testing results from that date (and future Wednesdays) and make a decision about competition going forward on a rolling basis. Case rates in the region and especially at our competitor schools will also factor into our decisions. We will also closely follow St. Andrew's student cases that are linked to athletic competition to inform our future decisions. 
 
3. When we return to athletic competition, we will not permit visiting spectators or home spectators on campus, consistent with Red Status protocols. 
 
If we are to succeed in returning to competition and, ultimately, to Orange Status–which is what we all want and look forward to–each of you must carefully follow our protocols during the day and during practice, whether we are in Red or Orange Status. I ask your particular focus on the following:

  • Wear a good mask properly, covering your nose and mouth at all times.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially before meals.
  • Avoid touching your face when unmasked. 

We must all do this not only to keep each of you as healthy as possible, but also to reduce the burden of COVID and other winter illnesses (which often must be treated like COVID) on our Health Center staff, and also to protect people in our community (such as young faculty children) who are not yet able to be vaccinated. 
 
Thank you for your partnership in getting us through this COVID surge. I know that we were all hoping for a more “normal” winter of sports competition, and I know we will get there with everyone’s enthusiasm, leadership, and help! Opt in, and GO SAINTS! 
 
See you soon,
Ms. McGrath